Access to Justice Commission to hold public forum hearing Monday in Martinsburg

By The West Virginia Record | Aug 25, 2011

MARTINSBURG – The West Virginia Access to Justice Commission will hold the second of six public forums to discuss access to justice barriers in West Virginia next week in Martinsburg.

The forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29, in the County Commission Chamber, Room 205, in the Dunn Building, 400 W. Stephen St.

For those interested in speaking at the hearing or needing language or disability assistance, please contact Deborah Bogan at 304-558-0145 or by email at All speakers will have a designated period of time allotted to them to convey their messages.

Information gathered from the hearings will be used to conduct a needs assessment regarding civil legal access to justice issues faced by the citizens of the state.

The final hearing will be held at the West Virginia Supreme Court.

The hearing panel at each meeting will consist of West Virginia Access to Justice Commissioners. Local legislators, judges, city and county representatives have been invited to attend.

The Commission also encourages those who have experienced barriers to the civil legal system to sign up to speak at one of the public forums.

The Commission would like to hear from speakers who can address a number of issues including language barriers, attorney fees, court costs, lack of transportation to courthouses, illiteracy, lack of notice, lack of disability accessibility, lack of sign language interpreters for the deaf, cognitive impairments, income just above poverty guidelines yet still prohibitive of obtaining legal services, and others.

A previous hearing was held Aug. 16 in Beckley. Future hearings will be held:

* 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at Foundation Hall on the Marshall University Campus in Huntington;

* 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at a location to be determined in Wheeling;

* 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the West Virginia University College of Law in Morgantown; and

* Nov. 15 at the Supreme Court Chamber in Charleston. The time has yet
to be determined.

The West Virginia Supreme Court established the Access to Justice Commission in 2009 by Administrative Order. The purpose of the commission is to help West Virginians overcome barriers within the civil legal system. These hearings will allow the Commission to identify those barriers.

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